Taco Tuesday (Not)

👨‍🍳 Cooking in the Time of COVID 👨‍🍳

(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)

Do you get pandemically induced food cravings too or am I alone in this? For no apparent reason I was jonesing for fish tacos and it wasn’t even the officially sanctioned el martes. Besides, it gave me an excuse to break out the comal and make salsa cruda.

Here’s what I did to scratch the itch. There’s nothing auténtico about these, but they were a cinch to prepare. You can use any neutral white filet like tilapia or basa because there’s so much going on in this application that any richly flavorful fish would get lost in the sauce. Literally. I tend to think of tilapia and other entry-level fish as an artist’s canvas: it’s essentially an uninteresting blank medium waiting to be turned into a masterpiece. Or in this case, dinner.

Season (or even marinate) the fish, then bake, grill, or pan sear in a skillet (that’s what I did: easier cleanup), cut into chunks and carefully place them into the taco shell or tortilla of your choice, along with avocado, shredded lettuce (or not), shredded or crumbled cheese (or not), crema (or not), and let the salsa do the heavy flavor lifting.

The salsa cruda started by charring white onion, tomatillos, tomato, and jalapeño on a comal – shown here mid-blister. Previously, I had used it to quickly toast some dried ancho and chipotle chilies then let them soak until rehydrated. When all the chilies are ready, remove any excess seeds and lose the juice from the tomato (it’ll make more). I chopped it all by hand because a blender or food processor creates a thin salsa which is fine but I prefer some crunch. (A molcajete works well too – see my upcoming post about guacamole, another craving inspired by this dish.) I included chopped cilantro, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and a pinch of cumin and Mexican oregano.

The finished product.

Itch scratched. Except for the aforementioned guacamole. Stay tuned.
Stay safe, be well, and eat whatever it takes. ❤️